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Fam Med. 1996 Mar;28(3):171-7.

Subcutaneous sumatriptan for the treatment of migraine: humanistic, economic, and clinical consequences.

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Department of Neurology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, USA.



This study examined the humanistic, economic, and clinical consequences of using subcutaneous sumatriptan for 6 months for the acute treatment of migraine in 126 patients enrolled in a group-model health maintenance organization.


Patients received open-label sumatriptan (6 mg) for the treatment of migraines that occurred during a 6-month period. For each migraine, patients recorded migraine pain severity (none, mild, moderate, or severe) before treatment and 2 hours posttreatment and the time until onset of patient-defined meaningful relief. Patients also completed both the Short Form-36 Health Survey and Migraine-specific Quality of Life (QOL) Questionnaire at screening (to cover the period prior to initiation of treatment) and after 3 and 6 months of treatment. Patients' medical records were reviewed to obtain information on the frequency of migraine-related pharmacy use, general outpatient services, and urgent care services during the treatment period and the 12 months prior to initiation of treatment.


By 2 hours after the dose, 71% of patients had moderate or severe pain reduced to mild or none, and 86% of patients achieved meaningful relief. At 3 months and 6 months, sumatriptan was associated with improvements relative to pre-sumatriptan baselines in Short Form-36 Health Survey and Migraine-specific QOL Questionnaire scores (P < .002). Sumatriptan was also associated with significant reductions in the average number of migraine-related general outpatient and urgent care services (P < .001).


The use of sumatriptan for 6 months was associated with improvements in health-related quality of life, reductions in health care resource use, and a high percentage of treatment successes.

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